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Iran to transfer gas to Europe via Turkey

Report by Press TV

Tehran and Ankara have signed an agreement on the development of the South Pars gas field and the transfer of Iranian gas to Europe.

"This memorandum of understanding (MoU) deals with the development of phases 23 and 24 of South Pars with the joint investment of the two neighbors," Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari told reporters after signing the agreement with his Turkish counterpart, Hilmi Guler, in Tehran on Monday.

"Half of the gas produced from these fields will be sold to Turkey," he continued.

The accord also touches on the transfer of Iranian gas to Turkey, which under the agreement is expected to annually transfer 35 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas to Europe.

Under an initial deal signed in 2007 between the two countries, Turkey was called upon to annually produce 20.4 billion cubic meters of gas at South Pars.

Guler had earlier announced that his country would sign a multi-billion-dollar deal to buy natural gas from Iran in an agreement to be finalized by 2009.

"The construction of an 1800-kilometer pipeline to transfer natural gas from Assaluyeh to the Turkish border, the increase of Iranian gas exports to Turkey, and the transit of natural gas to Europe were also discussed," Nozari expounded in reference to the Monday meeting.

The gas deal received a barrage of criticism in 2007 when the US demanded that NATO members, including Turkey, stop doing business with Iran over its uranium enrichment program.

Iran sits on the world's second biggest gas reserves. The country exports around 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey per year. Supplies were shortly disrupted last winter due to a cold spell in Iran because the country failed to meet its domestic gas demand.

According to plans sought by Tehran, Turkey will become a key transit route for Iranian gas supplies to Europe. Gas will then be transferred to Greece, Italy and the rest of Europe.

No Iran LNG to be produced in Qatar

Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari says Tehran will not export its gas to Qatar to be liquefied in the Arab country's plants.

"We have agreed to set up a joint company to develop projects in the three countries or any other place in the world, but we do not accept that Iran's gas will be exported to Qatar to be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG)," Nozari told reporters on Monday after signing a gas agreement with his Turkish counterpart, Hilmi Guler, in Tehran.

Senior energy officials from Iran, Russia and Qatar met in Doha last Wednesday to discuss future trilateral cooperation in the gas sector.

Russian daily Kommersant had quoted an unnamed Russian official as saying that Russia's Gazprom, Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Ltd. and National Iranian Oil Co. aim to set up a venture to produce gas from Iran's South Pars field and liquefy it in a gas plant in the Qatari Ras Laffan Province.

"The Islamic Republic agrees that Qatar and Russia will invest in South Pars and the LNG be produced in Iran on partnership basis," Nozari added.

The Doha meeting followed high-level discussions held in Tehran in October, in which the three countries agreed to coordinate their actions more closely and called for the formation of a group of natural gas exporting countries, similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

... Payvand News - 11/18/08 ... --

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